As a kid I remember reading a book about a modern Jewish girl who is transported back in time to WWII, and when she asks someone what year it is, they say something like, "3023," and she's like, "WHAT? It can't be the future!" But the person she was talking to was using the Jewish year numbering system, which apparently was no longer common in her era. I think that was the first time it occurred to me that different groups could have different dating systems.Devil's Arithmetic - used to be on the 5th grade novel list. Had the distinction of being 1 of 3 books on the list that didn't kill off the main character. The others were Bridge to Terabithia, and Johnny Tremain. Yes Devil's Arithmetic, Bridge to Terabithia and Johnny Tremain were the "Happy books" in 5th grade. Several years of protesting when nowhere - till the district switched from Novel lists to leveled books/novels.
I always loved Number the Stars, that would be a better "feel good" book, since it doesn't show the full horrors of the Nazis. But Bridge to Terabithia, while it does have the one very very sad event, generally is such a joyful book. I remember dragging my brother out to the woods and "creek" behind my house and building our very own Terabithia after reading that book. Years later, my dad was cleaning up in the woods and mentioned in passing that he'd had to "dismantle Terabithia" (we'd taken a bunch of wood scraps back to make "thrones" and tables and such), so even he knew what we called it.
VorFemme, it's funny that you mention that she should have been able to date when she'd arrived based on the emperor. I'm sure that most modern Americans would not be able to do that. At most they might know of the senate, Julius, and Augustus. I don't know past Augustus, because that's as far as we've gotten in the "Story of the World" CDs.
But it reminds me of a book that I read the children's version of as a child, called "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." In it, this character goes back into time, and somehow remembers the exact date of a solar eclipse, and it happens to be on the day after they had captured him and were accusing him of witchcraft or something like that. He uses it in an attempt to prove that he is powerful and they'd better not mess with him. But as a kid, my thought was, how in the world does a man from the 19th century (or whenever, but I think it was 19th as I think it was by Mark Twain?) know when a solar eclipse happened hundreds and hundreds of years before? I'm even teaching my kids astronomy and I haven't memorized the list of when solar or lunar eclipses is. Of course, I only read this abridged version of the book that was meant for children, so maybe the full book explained this, I don't know. But it puzzled me for years as a kid, whenever I'd see/read that book.